Everyone was dead. The Beast had gotten them all by now. Except Marina, of course. She truly was a cockroach; could survive until the next millenia if she truly wanted to.
Aging spells wouldn't do shit against a vindictive motherfucker made of moths, though. When he'd gotten to Quentin in Fillory, Marina had found it a little funny, on a certain level. How poetic. The thing that he loved had killed him, in the end. She didn't laugh aloud, obviously, because it wasn't really funny. Julia was beyond heartbroken, and it was now a fact that they were all royally screwed.
After that, everyone started to be picked off one by one. Every time Julia walked through the front door, she carried news of someone dying. There were a handful still alive, and she wanted to help. Try and escape with them to somewhere safe.
"Do you have a death wish?" Marina had asked. "There is nowhere safe. This asshole can travel all across the multiverse, meaning he can- and will- find us anywhere we go."
Julia looked angry for the first time in a long time. "All my friends are dead, Marina! Or being hunted by the Beast, same as me. If I can help them... If there's a chance I can save even one, I'm going to take it."
This plan, of course, had gotten Julia killed. Trying to save the Traveler, Penny. The Beast had cut off his hands and let him bleed out slowly, letting Penny watch as he ripped out Julia's digestive tract.
When Marina heard the news, she didn't know what to do. So many thoughts, so many emotions were running a mile a minute. She'd told her. Marina had told Julia, being a martyr only got you killed. Julia went out and did it anyway.
Marina looked down at the scotch glass in her hand, squeezing her fingers around it. She turned around, launching it at the wall. It shattered loudly, glass shards flying back and falling onto the floor. A sob wracked her body. Slowly, Marina fell to her knees in the shards of glass.
That was two weeks ago. Today, Marina sat at the chipped, old piano that sat in the warehouse with her. In the midst of an industrial eyesore, it was the only relatively pretty and personal thing. Julia liked playing it.
Marina's fingers were clumsier than hers. She'd never learned to play, but Julia had taught her a little. Now, as she waited for her wards to fail and him to find her, she pressed down on the keys in the pattern she'd memorized.
Marina was ready to die. She never thought that would happen, honestly. There was always going to be magic and power in the world to control, knowledge to gain. Julia's death had done it for her. Marina figured that next time, if there was a next time, she'd try not to get so attached to people. Feelings; wretched things, really.
When her part of the piano piece ended, Marina sat there in silence. She tentatively pressed her finger down on another key, trying to play Julia's part by ear. This is what they did, before everyone started dying. They would sit at a stupid old piano and play the same song, over and over. It wasn't supposed to be anything special- just something to keep them busy.
When she got a note wrong, Marina stopped. She heard footsteps in the glass that had laid on the floor for days now. Marina looked up, facing ahead as she sighed.
She already knew who it was, but the voice confirmed it. It was deep and definitely British. There was an evident smugness in his tone.
"Why, hello there," the Beast said.